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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

In ancient Scotland, the ancestors of the MacTaggart family were part of a tribe called the Picts. The name MacTaggart is derived from the Gaelic name Mac an t-Sagairt, which means "son of the priest."


The surname MacTaggart was first found in Ross-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rois) a former county, now part of the Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles in Northern Scotland, which emerged from the Gaelic lordship of the Earl of Ross, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. MacTaggart has been spelled MacTaggart, MacTagart, MacIntaggart, MacTuggart, MacToggart and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacTaggart research. Another 160 words (11 lines of text) covering the year 1215 is included under the topic Early MacTaggart History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early MacTaggart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of MacTaggart:

MacTaggart Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Thomas MacTaggart, aged 36, who emigrated to the United States, in 1910
  • William Alexander MacTaggart, aged 42, who settled in America from Hawick, Scotland, in 1911
  • Margaret Jane MacTaggart, aged 40, who settled in America from Hawick, Scotland, in 1911
  • Duncan Matheson MacTaggart, who arrived in Alabama in 1920
  • Annie MacTaggart, aged 29, who landed in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1922
  • ...

MacTaggart Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Duncan Donald Mactaggart, aged 57, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1919
  • Geraldine MacTaggart, aged 49, who emigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1924

MacTaggart Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Robert MacTaggart arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Trafalgar" in 1849

  • James MacTaggart (1928-1974), Scottish born television producer, director and writer
  • Sir John Auld Mactaggart (b. 1951), 4th Baronet
  • Sir Ian Auld Mactaggart (1923-1987), 3rd Baronet, Chairman of the Society for Individual Freedom
  • Sir John Auld Mactaggart (1898-1960), 2nd Baronet, Managing Director of Mactaggart & Mickel
  • Sir John MacTaggart (1789-1867), 1st Baronet, Scottish Liberal politician who represented Wigtown Burghs (1835 to 1857) co-founder of the building firm Mactaggart & Mickel
  • F Iona Margaret Mactaggart (b. 1953), Scottish politician
  • Sir William MacTaggart (1903-1981), Scottish painter, President of the Scottish Academy
  • John Ellis MacTaggart (1866-1925), English philosopher

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ratione non vi
Motto Translation: By reason, not by force.


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    Other References

    1. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    2. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
    3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
    5. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
    6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    7. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
    8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
    10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    11. ...

    The MacTaggart Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The MacTaggart Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 10 March 2015 at 20:45.

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